Photo courtesy SISD
The Socorro Independent School District Community Education department recently conducted a special recognition event to celebrate the educators in the program who are dedicated to ensuring all to adult learners find success in the program.
“I’m very thankful that we could all be here together today,” said Melanie Garcia, a teacher on special assignment for SISD Community Education. “I’m grateful to be part of such a great team. I feel very valuable and appreciated here at Community Ed.”
The Community Education administrators honored the teachers with a special drive-by parade in front of their building in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.
The SISD Community Education program is a nationally known program that provides opportunities for adult learners to take ESL, English and Spanish GED/HSE preparation, citizenship and vocational classes and earn certifications to prepare them for success in the workforce.
District officials share that the program recently met their annual performance goals from the Texas Workforce Commission, which grants funds for the adult education courses.
“It is amazing the opportunities and education we provide for adult learners,” said Isabel Justo, assistant director of SISD Community Education. “If they can thrive in earning their education, then we can certainly thrive in giving them what they deserve.”
The Community Education department has two targets it must meet each year – an enrollment goal to ensure a substantial number of students are participating in programs and a performance goal which requires a certain number of students passing their post-exams and meeting all requirements to graduate with their High School Equivalency or alternate certifications.
“One of our biggest challenge is to retain our adult learners long enough to be able to post-test them,” Justo said. “Many of them have full-time jobs, families and experience multiple barriers throughout the course and it makes it difficult for us to retain them, so them earning their degree (or certification) is a huge accomplishment.”
Justo and other Community Education staff give much credit to the dedicated teachers who spend multiple hours helping educate adult learners.
The Teacher Appreciation Week celebration was a way to thank the educators for their unwavering commitment to give the adult learners round-the-clock support and encouragement to fulfill their requirements in various courses and vocational programs.
The Community Education teachers often serve as more than educators. They are mentors and friends who encourage the adult students to meet their goals and set future aspirations to further improve their education and careers.
The SISD Community Education programs and classes are organized around three main goals of adult students: to obtain a job or start a career, attend college or post-secondary training and to develop basic English language skills to function effectively as a parent or citizen. All classes and certifications are offered at no cost to students who qualify and are accepted into a program of study.
In addition, a unique partnership between the SISD Community Education and Career and Technical Education departments has garnered widespread attention for the success and opportunities it brings for local adult students and the local workforce.
The U.S. Department of Education and the National Skills Coalition recognized the two departments for working in collaboration to provide adult students with free skills courses to earn certifications in business and industry and be prepared for success in the workforce.